Brankley Pastures Woodland Reserve
Accessibility: Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
Admire the impressive ancient trees of Brankley Pastures in Barton under Needwood. Once part of the Needwood Forest, Brankley Pastures is full of fascinating and impressive ancient trees.
What is a Wood Pasture?
A wood pasture is a special type of woodland. As the name suggests it is a cross between grassland and woodland. Grazing animals are a key component of wood pastures and have been instrumental in creating these historic landscapes. The trees would have provided shelter for grazing animals while the grassland provided food. Ancient, veteran trees are a characteristic feature of wood pastures and one of the reasons why this habitat is so special and so difficult to recreate!
The trail around the reserve to showcases Oakwood Pastures, part of the reserve which still has a good number of ancient trees and is grazed by cattle in the traditional manner. The family friendly trail takes you around the reserve and tells you more about the wildlife that is being protected and the landscape the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is recreating.
Dead wood is a key component of good wood pasture habitat. A detailed invertebrate survey of part of the site, known as Oakwood Pastures, has revealed over 500 different species of insect. Of these 23 are nationally scarce and associated specifically with dead or decaying wood. Most of these insects aren’t found on the rest of the site yet and it will be many hundreds of years before we get any naturally occurring dead wood.
Starting Point: Access is via pedestrian kissing gates
Opening times: open at all times
- Parking – FREE
Click on the first image to start the slide show